To: Mrs. Thomas Eston Randolph
Ballyvourniere June 19th, 1829
Well Dearest Mother! our journey, with all its dangers
and difficulties is at length happily over. Heaven be praised! We
arrived here this morning to breakfast, and I do assure you,
beacon light was never hailed with more joy by tempest tossed
seamen, than was the first peep of the log house by us.
We have been resting and looking round us all day, and it is now
so late in the evening that I shall only be able to write a
very few lines. Francis has promised to send to Tallahassee, to-
morrow for the letter we expect or receive from home, & as it
is too far to send every day, this must be put in at the same
time. -- we had a very hard time from Augusta to
Hartford, dreadful weather, horrid roads, poisonous water.
from Hartford here however, our journey has been prosperous.
We camped out only twice. both nights in the
Georgia pine barrens, on high, dry ground, and in beautiful
weather, & so far from thinking it a hardship, we were quite
delighted with the exchange from the filthy dens, we had been
sleeping in. but for the saving of time we should not have
gone to a house. We are all much thinner than
when we left home, but we have borne our fatigue and
hardships, much better upon the whole than could have
been expected. I was very sick immediately after lea-
ving Augusta, by the bad water, and suffered during the rest
of the journey more than I can tell you, but for a few
days past, indeed ever since we crossed the Oclocknee, and left
the region of rotten lime stone, -- I have been much better.
the complaint has left me, & I shall soon be strong again.
Mary was slightly affected by the water once for a few hours, &
Jeff was one day sick. Nanny's child too was smartly in-
disposed, but the rest of our party were blessed with stomachs
not to be affected even by hot rotten lime stone water.
Elizabeth felt no ill effect from it, from first to last.
I begin to think she is as strong as old Iron himself.
This is a very comfortable house of Francis's, roomy and airy
& quite good looking for a log pen. The floor of our loft
(Mary's & mine) is not nailed down, and the seams gape rather
more widely than is pleasant, but we have remedied the
evil by spreading down your parlor carpet. the house
is on a little eminence, skirting the barrens, but with
hammock enough round it for beauty & shade. the yard
is fenced in, & nicely cleared up with only a few trees
left standing; at the back of it is a fine crop of cotton
growing, & round the other three sides the most spleen-
did growth of forest trees I ever beheld. superb oaks
covered with the long moss of this country which
I cannot describe to you. I never even imagined any
thing so beautiful and so graceful.
I believe Francis had found everything going on as well as
possible. this is fine country I am sure, and worth the
trouble of getting to. dear Mother, it strikes us all now
as a perfect absurdity that we should ever have talked
of this journey for you. you! I really believe Lucy
could not have borne it. no one can, without personal
experience form an idea of such an expedition as this.
Bonaparte's Russian campaign could not have been harder
upon a soldier, than this journey to a delicate woman.
I am all impatience to have our building begun. If you
do not come out immediately I hope Papa will write, or has
already written directions to Francis. I think it is very
important for your comfort, that your own house should
be ready for you. we do not regard scuffling. but a
crowded log house would not do for you. dearest mother
how I long for your arrival & how delighted I shall be
to have a home once more - even if L. and myself fix in
Tallahassee, we shall be with you some part of every
week and I promise myself great pleasure in having once again
a place of our own. Papa will be delighted with the
We lost our poor cow at last. after travelling so far
and really improving on the way, she was unlucky
enough to fall into a hole in passing one of the swamps,
and was too much hurt that she did not live 24
hours after. we were very sorry for her. the
teams are in excellent order. --- all the
servants are well except William and he is much
better. For ourselves - Elizabeth & Mary are
perfectly well & in excellent spirits. Francis and
Arthur the same, & the children perfectly delighted.
I am mending & shall soon be strong again I hope.
God bless you dear mother, & all of you my beloved ones.
God only knows how entirely my happiness & my very
existence is bound up with yours.
Ever the same
Love to all friends in Lynchburg. Tell Lucy to bring
out a store of ink powders, quills and corset laces, & a sup-
ply of good drawing paper, crayons & paints. these she
must get from Richmond.
[postal stamp] TALLAHASSEE JUNE 21 FLA
Mrs. Thomas Eston Randolph